I spent the summer as the Star Tribune’s design intern, but I hardly felt like an intern at all. Everyone made me feel extremely welcome and like a part of the newsroom. They taught me the basics and trusted me to learn a lot by actually designing on deadline. Those same people continued to inspire and impress me throughout the summer.
I started off in news, and I got to be involved in all the steps from the beginning. I was excited to go to the daily huddle where lineups were picked, discuss photos with photographers and fill sections with editors. For those first five weeks, I worked in the nation/world, metro and business sections on deadline, and I realized how much I actually liked fitting in so many pieces with the stress of the clock. I liked working with the basic style and structure of the paper and adding layering and small touches to display stories in the best ways possible.
From there I went to features for the second half of the summer, which was definitely a huge change. At first I felt like I had too much time for everything, and it was a challenge to branch out from strict news design. After a few days, I really started to enjoy features and the opportunity to be more creative and experiment. It was fun to think up designs that fit the tones of the stories and carry that throughout the package.
One of my favorite parts of the summer was the collaboration I was able to be a part of. Everyone is constantly communicating to end up with the best product for the readers. Any time I had a question, big or small, someone was there to answer it and talk it through. It made me consciously think about design and storytelling, which really helped me grow as a designer.
Although I did learn so much about design and presentation, this summer taught me way more about the importance of communication, dedication and passion in journalism. Working in the Star Tribune newsroom was an incredible experience and insight into how good journalism is produced and comes together, and it was a good indication that I’m heading into the right field.
(Missy is a senior at Indiana University and plans to spend the year art directing IU’s student magazine, INSIDE. )